Gondwana Rainforest Walk
Grade 2 – 3: Suitable for most ages. A loop or circuit from which to experience more of the network of tracks on Munibung Hill.
The walk is within the Hawkins Creek catchment and includes species dominated by the Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) and higher up by a Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata)/Casuarina (Allocasuarina torulosa) open forest.
Small ponds and seepage that run into Farm Creek and Hawkins Creek keep the area moist and fresh.
Pangaea was a supercontinent that formed about 300 million years ago and broke up about 180 million years ago. This was during the age of reptiles (including dinosaurs) and the age of ferns and cycads and conifers – the Permian and Triassic periods. At the start of the Jurassic period, Pangaea started to break up and form two large masses, Gondwana and Laurasia.
The Permian era is a geologic period and system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous period 299 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic period 252 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozoic era; the following Triassic period belongs to the Mesozoic era. Munibung Hill is dated as having been formed 251 Mya.
What this means in lay persons language, is that the plants in this area had their origins millions of years ago, long before dinosaurs. These plants are the current living examples of ancient times past, so many eons ago that it’s sort of hard to fathom when it comes to living in the modern era that doesn’t pay much attention to earth time otherwise known as Big History or Deep Time. In reality these are our ancestors. Plants came to be long before animals and much longer before humans evolved – long before the period that fascinates millions of us and the children of every generation – Dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. There is so much we can learn from being better informed of the events that took place, and continue to take place, within the geological context of earth time. Let this be the window into a world of wonder and discovery.
One of the sounds of the bush in this area, is the striking call of the Whipbird. Here’s a short video clip that includes the ‘whip’ call of the male Whipbird and the reply sound of ‘tu tu’ made by the female (Source: Tim Siggs Australian Bird Video Collection).
Custom map created for MHCS by David Bretreger
Wonta, in Awabakal language means: where is this place? (1)
Enter: Farm Street, Speers Point. Head into the bush then veer right to a track that up the southern bank of Hawkins Creek.
NOTE: A random internet search for Munibung Hill – which can be accessed from locations on the north, south, east and west – without providing more details, will most likely present a rather confusing map compared with the directions supplied here. When using a search engine such as Google maps it helps to specify an address, in this case Cnr Atkin Ave and Farm Street, Speers Point.
(1) Source: An Australian Language as Spoken by the Awabakal, L. E. Threlkeld. 1892
There are no toilets, no picnic facilities and no disposal or recycling bins. The nearest are at Cardiff, Warners Bay, Speers Point and Boolaroo.
Dogs on leashes only. No trail bikes. Please carry out what you carry in – don’t rubbish Munibung Hill. If you come across what other people have disposed of, consider picking it up and disposing of it thoughtfully. Help us care for the habitat of local native plants and animals. Thank you.
<< No signage other than Council and NSW Rural Fire Service notices. Please observe these messages and bring them to the attention of others.
There are no official car parks at the start of tracks, it is therefore important to respect the residents who live in close proximity to these areas.
When driving around Munibung Hill at night remember we are sharing the roads with our native wildlife, so take it slow and watch out for animals on the road.
For your safety and personal care, even for a short walk on a fine day, carry a light pack with a weatherproof jacket, water (1 litre per person for every 3 hours of walking), some high energy food and a first aid kit. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, a sunhat, carry sunglasses if need be, sunscreen. Insect repellent can also make your walk more comfortable and be sure to take a bag to carry any rubbish out with you.